Windows Subsystem for Linux out of Beta!

Rich Turner

We’re excited to announce that in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (FCU) due to ship in fall 2017, Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) will no longer be a beta feature and will become a fully supported Windows feature. Early adopters on the Windows Insider program will notice that WSL is no longer marked as a beta feature as of Insider build 16251.

This will be great news for those who’ve held-back from employing WSL as a mainline toolset: You’ll now be able to leverage WSL as a day-to-day developer toolset, and become ever more productive when building, testing, deploying, and managing your apps and systems on Windows 10.

So, what changes?

Very little! In fact, the only change most will notice, is that the “Windows Features” will no longer indicate that WSL is a beta feature!

What will change is that you will gain the added advantage of being able to file issues on WSL and its Windows tooling via our normal support mechanisms if you want/need to follow a more formal issue resolution process. You can also provide feedback via Windows 10 Feedback Hub app, which delivers feedback directly to the team.

We’ll still do our best to remain as responsive as ever to the bugs and issues you post to the WSL issues GitHub repo and we’ll remain just as engaged, seeking and responding to your questions, etc., on Twitter and will continue monitor and contribute to discussions and answer questions on forums and sites like Stack Overflow, Ask Ubuntu, Reddit and others.

So, do continue to let us know if you run into issues, and/or have questions, and we’ll continue to improve WSL to support our key scenarios.

Caveat Emptor

Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to remind ourselves of our key WSL scenarios:

  • Run Linux Command-line tools for development and (basic) administration
  • Share and access files on the Windows filesystem from within Linux
  • Invoke Windows processes from Linux, e.g. ~$ cd /mnt/c/temp/ && echo “Hello” > hello.txt && notepad.exe hello.txt 
  • Invoke Linux processes from Windows command-line, e.g.: C:> bash -c “fortune | cowsay” 

And there are a couple of things we explicitly do NOT support:

  • Linux distro’s running atop WSL are for interactive user scenarios, NOT for running production workloads on Apache/nginx/MySQL/MongoDB/etc.
  • Linux files are NOT accessible from Windows (we’re working to improve this scenario over time)
  • NO current plans to support X/GUI apps, desktops, servers, etc. at this time

Support & Issues

With the removal of the beta tag, it’s also important to note who is responsible for supporting & fixing what part of the system:

  1. Microsoft supports the WSL infrastructure and tooling
  2. Distro-publishers are responsible for their distro internals

Microsoft and our awesome distro publisher partners maintain an open channel and partner-up to diagnose issues to their root cause, wherever that may be, and to schedule & deliver fixes when feasible.

If you do find something that doesn’t work as you’d expect it to, or you have identified a reproducible issue, please continue to file feedback on our GitHub Issues repo, following the contribution guidelines and completing the new issue template as fully as possible. This process has proven to be a highly effective way for the WSL team, our distro partners, and our fanstastic community to directly engage & drive issues to resolution quickly and efficiently.

Key Takeaway

The removal of the beta tag will result in a continued improvement in product quality over time, and demonstrates our continued commitment to making Windows a great platform upon which to run your Linux tools. We look forward to hearing & learning more from you about what works, what doesn’t, what features you’d like to see, and how WSL helps you achieve more.

Rich, Sarah, and the WSL Team.


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